How The GOP lost the election? We did it the old fashion way, we earned it.
First of all let me give my thanks to Abelardo and the people at LatinoLA that make this web site unique. There is no other website that publishes the diversity of opinions found here.
From the extreme left to the extreme right and everything else in between. LatinoLA is the voice of Latinos. It is a vibrant living hub where ideas, hopes, frustrations and information are freely exchanged.
I also want to thank Abelardo and his wife for the service that their sons are giving to this country.
We have a son in the Navy who originally wanted to join the Marines. I threatened him with disinheritance if he joined the Marines.
He joined the Navy became a medic and is now serving ÔÇª..with the Marines. God bless and keep our boys out of harm's way.
Now for the post mortem.
Let us all congratulate President-elect Obama. The man is brilliant. He defeated the Clinton machine and then went on to defeat the GOP.
He deserves our support. As Lyndon Johnson once said, "You may not like me, but I'm the only President you have".
The GOP lost the election because the GOP has failed to be the GOP in recent years.
The GOP has always been the party of fiscal constraint. But in recent years Republicans have been spending like drunken sailors.
With the exception of John McCain and a few others. Republicans have been irresponsible in their spending. Earmarks have been the rule rather than the exception.
In March of 2007. I wrote an article published in LatinoLA with the title of Real Estate Armageddon, the Sequel. I wrote about the subprime crisis and the real estate meltdown.
The Republicans failed in reigning in the irresponsible lending practices of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. A few feeble attempts were made, all blocked by Barney Franks and Maxine Walters, both Democrats.
The Community Redevelopment Act of 1996 sponsored and passed by the Democrats forced banks and savings and loans to lend money in the "community" (translation: loans to people who otherwise could not qualify for a home loan).
Any and all challenges to these lending practices were labeled as racist. So instead of pressing the issue, Republicans meekly joined in with the crowd and praised that home ownership was at an all-time high. Now reality sets in. African Americans which make up a little over 10% of our population are holding 35% of all sub prime mortgages.
Hispanics are in the same boat. In our immigration law practice, 90% of our clients are either losing their homes, walking away from their mortgages or owe more than their home is worth.
The real estate meltdown has probably been the biggest financial disaster to strike both African Americans and Latinos.
The Republicans should have said NO to the liar loans, NO to no down loans, NO to stated income loans. But rather than doing that, they backed down. They were intimidated by the Barney Franks and the Maxine Walters and were afraid of being labeled racists.
Republicans chose the easy road rather than the high road.
On Wall Street, the same attitude persisted. If it ain't broke don't fix it. As long as Wall Street firms reported record profits and mortgage brokers did likewise there was no need to regulate.
Instead of regulating the issuance of Mortgage Back Securities the GOP turned a blind eye and allowed Wall Street to package these toxic loans and to sell them on the open market.
Rather than going after CEO compensation on Wall Street, the Republicans again did nothing.
At Merrill Lynch, CEO Stanley O'Neil lost 25% of the company's value in one quarter. After destroying the best firm on Wall Street Stanle,y O'Neil walked away with over $140,000,000 dollars. Merrill had to sell itself at fire sale prices to the Bank of America.
At Countrywide, Angelo Mozzilo destroyed his company. He walked away with over $45,000,000. He was the poster child for the subprime loans. His company destroyed of thousands of Americans who sought to live the American dream.
Dick Fuld bankrupted Lehman. He was paid a half a billion dollars over the last five years. This was a firm that survived WW1, the Great Depression, WW2, Korea, the cold war and the Carter Presidency.
Wamu, Wachovia, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were all destroyed.
Rather than going after these crooks, the GOP did nothing. The GOP should have requested an investigation of these corrupt CEO'S and they did NOTHING.
McCain should have said, "I'm as mad as hell and I' m not going to take it anymore." McCain should have promised the American people an investigation into the shenanigans on Wall Street, the mortgage brokers, the phony appraisals, tax preparers and real estate brokers. McCain should have promised that if anyone was found guilty of fraud off to the big house with them.
But he didn't.
On immigration, the GOP blew it. With the polls showing the vast majority of Americans favoring a comprehensive immigration reform the GOP decided to listen to the right wing whackos spurned on by shock jocks such as Ken and John and Sean Hannity.
Yes there were a great number of Republicans including McCain, Trent Lott, Senator Mel Martinez and George Bush who favored immigration reform. But by and large the moderates in the GOP allowed the Neanderthal Republicans to take charge of this issue.
So McCain, who fought long and hard for immigration reform, paid the price for the idiocy demonstrated by the Tancredo's , the Romney's and the other xenophobes in the party. The only Latino groups that voted for McCain were Cuban, Venezuelan and the Nicaraguan Americans, all small groups relative to the entire Hispanic population.
The GOP also has to get out of the bedroom and get back on Main Street.
The number of sex scandals that hit the Bible thumping members of the GOP were a disaster. Meanwhile Barney Frank's male lover ran a male prostitution ring out of his apartment and Barney Frank has been reelected and reelected. Why? Because Frank never claimed to be an angel.
As a member of the LDS Church, I was called to participate in the Yes on 8 campaign. I refused. Why did I refuse? Because I believe in live and let live. As Benito Juarez said, "El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz".
So we lost the election. We deserved it. Let us hope that we can learn the lessons that this has election has taught us.
May the Gods enlighten Obama as he is now OUR President and the President of the greatest nation and the greatest people that have existed on the face of this planet.
Alberto Marrero Salas:
Worked on Wall Street (Merrill Lynch - Prudential Bache) during the 70's and 80's. Currently partner Nacara 2000 / Carvajal Law Offices, practicing immigration law in Los Angeles California. Email the author